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Subject: A more informative game weight measure rss

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Martin VanDam
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Go, the game where black and white stones are placed on a 19 by 19 grid, and Firefly: The Game (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/138161/firefly-game) both have a weight rating on BBG very close to 3.

Just think of Chess if you do not know the game Go, same sort of situation, but with a few more pieces and rules. Also please don’t think of tournament rules, like time clocks and such, just the rules of the game itself.

Yet the rules of Go take about three sentences while Firefly has a 20 page rulebook. The Firefly rulebook has pictures, so it is not just 20 pages of rules, but I think it is bad that something with just a few rules, and that is so simple and quick to set up and teach has the same weight as something that takes many minutes to set up and has so many more rules.

Weight is just the wrong measure, it measures neither how many rules you need to learn to play, nor how likely a good player is to defeat a poor player, and not if a new player will be overwhelmed. Go has simple rules, but is complex in strategy. Many books have been written on Go strategy. Go is complex in that way, but you would not know that from a BGG weight of 3.

The current weight rating on BBG seems closest to measuring how likely a new player is to feel overwhelmed. The rules of Go are super simple, but there are so many legal moves, and it is so hard to see how to win, should Go get a high rating or a low one? Well, one number is just not going to be truly helpful.

So I would like to see BGG have two weight measures. One for rule book size, and one for complexity of play and difficulty of mastering the game. The current weight measure can be kept for those who do find it useful, but I think two new measures would be very helpful. Rule set size seems both helpful and easy to implement. I found rules for both Go and Firefly in the BGG file section. That information would just need to be made into a number, and put on each games main page.

The other measure I would like is complexity of game play. This measure should tell you that Chess and Go are very complex, more complex than Firefly. Maybe some would rank it lower on complexity than I would, but I don’t see that an objective measure can be found, and the BGG average complexity weighting I think would still be more helpful than just the “weight,” as weight is given as 3 to Go, which one could study for a lifetime and never master, and to Firefly, which I enjoyed, and is complex, but seems to me to not have anywhere near the strategic complexity of Go.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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I disagree with your statement that Go has a 3-sentence rule set.

But I agree with your basic point. "Weight" does not mean much here since it is so subjective. To get a good idea of the weight of a game, it seems necessary to either read the rulebook or read/watch a review. A number does not give enough information.
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Jeremy Pyne
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Things we could rate or track by user submission/averaging out

Game length (by player count)
Game length with learning (by player count)
Rule set complexity (mic of complexity, length, readability, examples, and exceptions and one rules)
Boy use points: how livkely you will have to pause game and go back to check a rule
New vs skilled ratting (lower number indicates less advantage for experienced players. Dice games, games with very simple rules, games with more randomness, and short or social games would have lower earrings.)
Average palys per copy ( a simple calculations BGG could show of total plays by owners / total copies owned. May need some mathematical corrections for people that record owns but not plays.)
Strategy
Theme
More...
 
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Russ Williams
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(Hopefully an admin will move this thread to BGG Suggestions forum: https://boardgamegeek.com/forum/81/boardgamegeek/bgg-suggest... )

FWIW: some past threads about the ambiguity and undefinedness of "weight" which may be of possible interest (from the Suggestions forum):

BGG needs to divide "Weight" into "Rules Complexity" and "Gameplay Depth"
Helping people understand game weight
Rule Complexity + Luck Metrics
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John McD
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Snork wrote:
Go, the game where black and white stones are placed on a 19 by 19 grid, and Firefly: The Game (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/138161/firefly-game) both have a weight rating on BBG very close to 3.

Just think of Chess if you do not know the game Go, same sort of situation, but with a few more pieces and rules. Also please don’t think of tournament rules, like time clocks and such, just the rules of the game itself.

Yet the rules of Go take about three sentences while Firefly has a 20 page rulebook. The Firefly rulebook has pictures, so it is not just 20 pages of rules, but I think it is bad that something with just a few rules, and that is so simple and quick to set up and teach has the same weight as something that takes many minutes to set up and has so many more rules.

Weight is just the wrong measure, it measures neither how many rules you need to learn to play, nor how likely a good player is to defeat a poor player, and not if a new player will be overwhelmed. Go has simple rules, but is complex in strategy. Many books have been written on Go strategy. Go is complex in that way, but you would not know that from a BGG weight of 3.

The current weight rating on BBG seems closest to measuring how likely a new player is to feel overwhelmed. The rules of Go are super simple, but there are so many legal moves, and it is so hard to see how to win, should Go get a high rating or a low one? Well, one number is just not going to be truly helpful.

So I would like to see BGG have two weight measures. One for rule book size, and one for complexity of play and difficulty of mastering the game. The current weight measure can be kept for those who do find it useful, but I think two new measures would be very helpful. Rule set size seems both helpful and easy to implement. I found rules for both Go and Firefly in the BGG file section. That information would just need to be made into a number, and put on each games main page.

The other measure I would like is complexity of game play. This measure should tell you that Chess and Go are very complex, more complex than Firefly. Maybe some would rank it lower on complexity than I would, but I don’t see that an objective measure can be found, and the BGG average complexity weighting I think would still be more helpful than just the “weight,” as weight is given as 3 to Go, which one could study for a lifetime and never master, and to Firefly, which I enjoyed, and is complex, but seems to me to not have anywhere near the strategic complexity of Go.


I often find the age rating is a good proxy for sheer number of rules, while weight is quite well established to function as some sort of combination of number of rules and emergent complexity.

Greater clarity would certainly not be a bad thing though.
 
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jos horst
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Yeah, you could define some n-dimensional vector, which will be given a value by the 25 people who care enough, or you could be a bit practical about it.
Weight doesn't say much, but it says something. For each to decide how helpful it can be.
Same with rating, or rank. The rulebooks, reviews and comments are still there.
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Kevin Garnica
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I disagree that there should be a weight rating for "difficulty of mastering the game", specifically. Different people have different intellectual aptitudes. The process of mastery aught not be reduced down to a number.

However, I agree with everything else. One scale for rulebooks, the other for complexity in...moving parts, maybe(?) Idk.

For me, "weight" as the term is toss about here has a few different connotations in my mind: rules overhead, literal size of the game (how many components does it have? Is it a table-hog?), and depth/complexity.
 
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Bill Cook
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We can add a third vector for the literal weight (mass) of the game.
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Kristian Karlsek
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I've had similar thoughts before, it would be a lot clearer with two seperate numbers for rules complexity and strategical depth.
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Trent Boardgamer
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I would be interested to see how a more in-depth system turns out for complexity/weight.

I don't think this is an easy aspect to quantify with just a number and it still be universally comparable from one game to the next.
 
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Thomas M
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I find that all just about any type of rating is so subjective that it might as well be a little condensed to benefit from law of large numbers rather than precise. At least that way most of the outliers are filtered out.

One type of scoring I often find missing in games is how likely the game is to punish a bad player.

To take a more extreme example: Magic: The Gathering.

The rules are exactly the same regardless of how good a player you are. No handicaps or leg-ups for poor players and nothing in the rules that give any catch-up whatsoever.
To make it even worse, it is a CCG and the quality of a top-notch deck compared to 60 randomly tossed together cards is outright ridiculous.

Other games can be extremely heavy in rules, but still offer a smart player a chance at winning regardless of prior experience.
Some posters have referred to this as "depth", where a lot of depth means that the game evolve as you get better at it (like Go).

However, I find that depending on how depth correlates with player skill/experience it result in very different games.

Being a very competitive person I do not like games where I have too high a chance of winning if I introduce them to a new player. And often find myself looking for some kind of easy scoring mechanism for identifying games that offer a smooth introduction and competitive environment for players of various skills.
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Jerbear
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And I would say that chess and go have a Very Low complexity. In that I can teach two 7 years olds to play each other and they could play a game relatively easy. They wouldn't understand the Depth of the game at all and play pretty poorly, but they could play the game.

But I wouldn't even attempt to explain Firefly to one of them. Because it is too complex.

As others have eluded to this seems to be a Complexity VS Depth issue.

Since it seems like we could come up with a solid ten variations on rating each game and that would quickly become useless, what probably needs to happen is just have one rating on Weight then have 1,000's vote on that weight and then average them. It will be a starting point to understand how heavy a game might be. Then if you are interested you can research a game further to see if it is what you are looking for.
 
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Pete
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EMBison wrote:
We can add a third vector for the literal weight (mass) of the game.
And a fourth, for wait (downtime) of the game.

Pete (listens for all the groans)
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Russ Williams
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plezercruz wrote:
EMBison wrote:
We can add a third vector for the literal weight (mass) of the game.
And a fourth, for wait (downtime) of the game.

Pete (listens for all the groans)

And a fifth, also spelled "wait", for how long you have to wait for the announced game to finally be released and for you to receive it.
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David Gibbs
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bwingrave wrote:
I disagree with your statement that Go has a 3-sentence rule set.

But I agree with your basic point. "Weight" does not mean much here since it is so subjective. To get a good idea of the weight of a game, it seems necessary to either read the rulebook or read/watch a review. A number does not give enough information.


I would say that "3 sentence" was (fairly clearly) a bit if hyperbole for emphasis. A compact complete set of Go rules would actually take, I would say, around 12 sentences.
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Russ Williams
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dagibbs wrote:
A compact complete set of Go rules would actually take, I would say, around 12 sentences.

Yep; FWIW Tromp-Taylor does it in 10 numbered rules = 11 sentences.


1. Go is played on a 19x19 square grid of points, by two players called Black and White.

2. Each point on the grid may be colored black, white or empty.

3. A point P, not colored C, is said to reach C, if there is a path of (vertically or horizontally) adjacent points of P's color from P to a point of color C.

4. Clearing a color is the process of emptying all points of that color that don't reach empty.

5. Starting with an empty grid, the players alternate turns, starting with Black.

6. A turn is either a pass; or a move that doesn't repeat an earlier grid coloring.

7. A move consists of coloring an empty point one's own color; then clearing the opponent color, and then clearing one's own color.

8. The game ends after two consecutive passes.

9. A player's score is the number of points of her color, plus the number of empty points that reach only her color.

10. The player with the higher score at the end of the game is the winner. Equal scores result in a tie.
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David Gibbs
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russ wrote:
dagibbs wrote:
A compact complete set of Go rules would actually take, I would say, around 12 sentences.

Yep; FWIW Tromp-Taylor does it in 10 numbered rules = 11 sentences. :)



Almost as if I was aware of this expression of the rules, had a feel for how long it was, but didn't feel like actually googling to find the exact phrasing and sentence count. (My gut feeling was 10 sentences, but I chose 12 to give myself a bit of leeway in case I was wrong.)

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